Description of the challenges faced by the Tech Project
The artist will be provided with different datasets as well as a description of the types of manipulations performed on these data. Data typically consists of sets of higher-dimensional vectors and/or networks (e.g. linking objects that have a certain level of similarity). The main challenge to the artist is to explore ways in which an analyst can "experience" different versions of such datasets (a filtered subset, a clustering, etc), and perform manipulations (e.g. the filtering or clustering itself) in a more visceral rather than cognitive-only way.
Brief description of technology
The artist will be provided with different datasets as well as a description of the types of manipulations performed on these data. Data typically consists of sets of higher-dimensional vectors (for example of word embeddings, see https://www.analyticsvidhya.com/blog/2017/06/word-embeddings-count-word2veec/) and/or networks (e.g. linking objects that have a certain level of similarity). The artist will have access to data scientists who work with these types of data daily. The emphasis lies on how different versions of these datasets (a filtered subset, a clustering, etc) can be presented to the analyst in a more "natural" multi-sensory way than via a computer screen. Although we envision a version of AR/VR can play a role in this work, the lab currently does not have the availability of such system and will investigate acquiring it in collaboration with the artist if necessary.
What the project is looking to gain from the collaboration and what kind of artist would be suitable
The main aim of the project is to explore alternative methods for analysts to interact with their data. In particular, we wish to find out how data properties (e.g. number of datapoints, or specific attributes) as well as transformations of that data (e.g. filtering, aggregation) can be presented to the analyst such that they have a more profound feeling of what is going on, rathen than just having the numbers on their screens. The final objective of the project is to open up novel research directions in immersive analytics. As this is a very exploratory project, in principle a wide range of artists could be suitable including video, audio, augmented/virtual reality, sculpture, 3D printing, etc. Candidate artists should therefore be familiar with working with data and operations on them (e.g. data clustering or filtering).
Resources available to the artist
The artist will be embedded in the Visual Data Analysis Lab (http://vda-lab.be), which is part of the STADIUS division of the Electrical Engineering department at the KU Leuven in Belgium. The artist will have access to office facilities (desk, laptop if necessary, internet connection, desk) as well as to data scientists and different datasets. Data that can be explored during the residency includes (but is not limited to) data from the ACCUMULATE project, which covers, among others, thousands of 400-dimensional vectors.